Since it is May (and Mother’s day is coming up), I’ve been thinking about Mothers.
A cubist self-portrait (when I was pregnant!)
It is interesting to me how Mother conjures up so many strong emotions. Obviously, people feelings about their own mothers can run the gambit. There are times, when I think of my own mother, that I feel happy, love, frustration, pity, gratitude, and even anger. Sometimes I feel guilty, sorry for myself, justified, happy. I have laughed with my mom, fought with her, cried with her, and I’ve shared special experiences with her. Our own relationships with our mothers are very complicated.
Some of us are mothers. I am blessed to have the opportunity to be a mother. I have four beautiful children. I wish I could say that being a mother has always been roses, but it is hard work. I don’t always feel happy, lovey-dovey, or energized. Sometimes, my kids get on my nerves! Sometimes, I need a break. Sometimes, my kids bring me more happiness than I ever imagined possible.
Fun at home…Life is good as a Mom.
Yesterday, Sasquatch (the three year old), started singing “I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream…”. She knew every word. It was so cute.
As much as I feel proud when I accomplish something hard, the feeling of my children accomplishing a goal is unparalleled. Last year, both Tiger and Panda submitted art for the children’s art exhibit at the Church Museum of History and Art. They both had their artwork accepted! Seeing it filled me with a sense of happiness – not only for me – but for them. Last week, for the first time, T-Rex (the one year old boy), folded his arms during a prayer. Each of these accomplishments filled my heart with so much love, I felt my chest expand.
Yet, motherhood isn’t always easy. And the very thing that makes motherhood possible – hormones – makes it quite difficult for me. I have ups-and-downs. Sometimes, as mothers, it is easy to forget who we are. Through the daily doldrums of mothering, I sometimes forget my own desires, ambitions, and dreams. At the end of the day, when my husband comes home and talks about my day, he asks me about mine. I usually feel pretty blank. What to say? Often, we have talks about his dreams and career ambitions. I remember, one time in particular, thinking about myself – I used to have dreams, but I can’t even remember what they are or if they matter. Sometimes, our identity gets lost in a whirlwind of laundry, dishes, and diapers.
But it isn’t one way or another. Motherhood is a part of life. We need to learn how to balance it all. Even though mother isn’t my entire identity, it is a part of me, and I’m very happy about that.
The point of all this is – Motherhood – it’s amazing. It is loaded with emotions, often conflicting. The world sends us even more mixed messages. And as Mother’s day approaches many of us have one of two responses:
- Yay! Great! Breakfast in Bed! And I love my mom! I think that I’ll call her!
- Yikes! Breakfast in bed is great, but I’ll probably be cleaning the kitchen later. I didn’t have a great relationship with my mom, but I should call her or else I’ll be in trouble. I’m a mother? – I have no idea what I’m doing.
While I can’t offer some way of coming to terms to Mothers and Motherhood specifically (I’m working on it, believe me), I do think that the scriptures can. There are several examples of mothers in the scriptures. Even though the stories may not be super-detailed, there are wonderful examples of great mothers in the scriptures.
Throughout the Month of May, I’ll be blogging on the following women: Mary, Sariah, the Mothers of the Stripling Warriors, Elisabeth, Sarah, Herodias, Hannah, and of course Eve. If you have any insights on any of these women, please email me! at chococatania [at] gmail [dot] com. I would love to put some guest posts up here. Just let me know.
I hope that throughout this month, we can feel more assured of what motherhood is and appreciate the mothers that we have known.